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Russian soldiers hit Ukraine's US-supplied M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle for the first time

As per information shared on Russian social media on February 23, 2024, Russian soldiers from the 21st Brigade recently targeted a US-supplied M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) belonging to the Ukrainian army's 47th Mechanized Brigade near Stepove. Details surrounding the extent of damage inflicted on the ABV remain unclear, with uncertainty over whether the Russian soldiers significantly damaged or destroyed the vehicle in the strike or if they targeted it after a previous immobilization.
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Similar to previous US-supplied M1 Abrams tanks, this Ukrainian M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle was outfitted with M-19 reactive armor on its sides. (Picture source: Russian media and US DoD)

This recent engagement marks the first confirmed loss of such a vehicle since its deployment in Ukraine. The presence of the M1150 ABV in Ukraine originated from an undisclosed delivery by the United States, with its existence revealed during the Ukrainian Missile Forces and Artillery and Engineering Troops Day on November 3, 2023. The M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV), also known as the "Shredder," is designed for efficiently breaching minefields and complex obstacles that could slow down military advances.

Primarily utilized by US Combat Engineers, the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) features a specialized turret housing two Linear Demolition Charge Systems, employing Mine Clearing Line Charges (MICLIC) propelled by rockets. Additionally, the M1150 is equipped with a Lane Marking System (LMS) to mark the cleared path, an Integrated Vision System, and a High Lift Adapter, which can accommodate either a Full Width Mine Plow (FWMP) or a Combat Dozer Blade based on mission requirements, to confirm lane safety.

The MICLIC is typically rocket-propelled and can be launched to a distance ensuring safety for the launching vehicle and its crew, with a standard range of approximately 100 to 150 meters. This standoff distance allows the ABV to remain safe from the explosive effects of the charge and any mines it detonates.

Upon detonation, the MICLIC unrolls a line charge filled with powerful explosives across the minefield, triggering and clearing mines within its effective range. This creates a breach lane typically 8 to 14 meters wide and 100 meters long, sufficient for the passage of infantry and vehicles.

The M1150 ABV also features a full-width mine plow capable of clearing both pressure-fused mines and tripwire-activated ordnance by physically pushing mines aside, creating a safe lane for following vehicles.

For self-defense, the M1150 ABV is equipped with a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 HB machine gun and electrically operated grenade launchers. Its design prioritizes crew protection and vehicle survivability while maintaining sufficient speed and mobility to match maneuver force. Removal of the M1A1 Abrams MBT turret and the addition of explosive reactive armor enhance protection against anti-tank weapons. The vehicle's crew consists of two soldiers, with an option for remote control operation.

The M1150 ABV is based on an M1 Abrams tank chassis sourced from surplus Army stocks and refurbished to align with current M1A1 Abrams MBT standards. Powered by a 1,500 horsepower Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine, this allows the M1150 to reach a top speed of 72 km/h on roads and 48 km/h cross-country.

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An M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle showcased during a training session involving M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC) at a training area in 2023. (Picture source: US DoD)


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